Every May, the Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic challenges the most successful baseball programs in South Jersey to dig a little deeper in preparation for postseason action.

When the dust settled at Eastern High School on Sunday, St. Augustine Prep emerged as the best of the bunch.

The Hermits won three games in a 30-hour span to claim the Diamond Classic title, becoming champs for the first time in the event’s 41-year history. Led by lefty pitcher Zach Warren, St. Augustine defeated Pennsville, 3-2, in the tournament final. Warren, a senior, tossed a one-hitter.

The Tulane University commit consistently stranded runners on base despite issuing nine walks during the contest. Dylan Tolbert, who gave St. Augustine a first-inning lead with an RBI double, capped off an impressive day at the plate. He came through with a go-ahead RBI single in a semifinal win over Washington Township that required an extra inning earlier Sunday.

St. Augustine is just the fourth Cape-Atlantic League team to accomplish the feat. Fellow CAL members Cedar Creek, Hammonton and Egg Harbor Township also earned a spot in the tournament this year.

The Hermits now move into the Non-Public South A playoffs. St. Augustine, the No. 3 seed, opens the postseason against Monsignor Donovan (Toms River)

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